Heroes of the community

PC Andrew Wright, the brains behind the Nowt2Do project
PC Andrew Wright, the brains behind the Nowt2Do project

THE outstanding work of two Wigan Police staff has been recognised at the Chief Constable’s Excellence Awards.

Both have been credited with making great strides in tackling anti-social behaviour, incidents of which have been on the wane in the last couple of years locally.

PCSO Carrie Fitzpatrick was nominated for an award for her work in the Norley area by forging strong links with local residents and businesses.

And PC Andy Wright picked up a Citizen Focus prize for his pioneering Nowt2Do project in Atherton which keeps youngsters busy with leisure activities during the evenings, weekends and school holidays.

PC Wright was inspired to launch his project after hearing local children being surveyed whine “We’ve nowt to do.”

The scheme’s aim is to bring out the best in young people.

He said: “I wanted all young people to get involved so all events are free and are based at a variety of locations.

“I try to encourage the kids to think about what affects them and they have recently developed a drama about knife crime.”

PC Wright has also personally raised more than £60,000 to help fund the project so far. He also negotiates venues and organises staff and volunteers. Andy’s family and a growing number of supporters have come on board, who are now called the Nowty Mums!

A police spokesman said: “At all stages, Andy has made sure that the project is firmly linked with GMP and its priority to reducing anti-social behaviour. Local schools and youth workers have seen improvements in troubled pupils and increases in self-esteem.

“The project has been awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark and has won local awards. Andy has developed an outstanding community project, which owes its success to his personal commitment, as he does most of the work in his own time. The project continues to grow and now has over 400 members on Facebook, a twitter account and its own website.”

PCSO Fitzpatrick has worked in the Norley area for the past three years and in that time has set up forums with residents and businesses to discuss issues while successfully applying for anti-social dispersal orders.

The spokesman said: “The results are astonishing – over the past year anti-social behaviour reports at the local shops have decreased from 20 to just two.

“And gregarious, outgoing, enthusiastic, supportive, exceptional and inspirational are just a few of the adjectives used to describe PCSO Fitzpatrick.

“Carrie is always on the lookout for development and improvement and immerses herself in every project in the community. Her Sergeant says she is a tremendous ambassador for GMP but perhaps her greatest achievement is that her outstanding nomination was from a fellow PCSO.”